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Lots of races line up for August primary

July 30, 2014
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

With the special election wrapped up, another round of campaigning is heating up. In less than four weeks, voters will head to the polls for the primary that leads to the big general election on Nov. 4.

The lineup for the races in U.S. congressional districts 19 and 17 are set for November, but there are critical primaries on the docket for Aug. 26 on the state and local levels.

The biggest is the race for governor where Rick Scott first faces challengers Yinka Abosede Adeshina and Elizabeth Cueves-Neunder in the Republican primary.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist battles Nan Rich in the Democratic primary.

For attorney general, George Sheldon and Perry Thurston will face off on the Democratic side for the right to challenge incumbent Pam Bondi, a Republican.

For State Representative District 77, the incumbent Dane Eagle faces a four-way closed Republican primary against Terry Cramer, Brandon Ivey and Jim Roach.

The winner will then face write-in candidate Jeremy Word in November.

In District 79, Republicans Matt Caldwell and Matt Miller will meet in a "universal primary," with the winner getting the seat.

All voters, regardless of affiliation, are eligible to vote in universal primaries, since the winner will have no opposition in November.

Republicans Lizbeth Benacquisto, the incumbent, and Michael Dreikhorn will battle for the State Senate seat in District 30 in a universal primary.

On the county level, the Board of County Commissioners will have two seats up for grabs, with the District 2 race between Republicans Cecil Pendergrass, the incumbent, and Paige Rausch being universal, or open to all voters.

In District 4, Republican Brian Hamman, who was appointed to the seat given up by Tammy Hall following her legal troubles, will face his first primary challenge against Andy Coy and Sawyer Smith, with the winner facing Democrat Debbie Jordan in November.

Although county commissioners must live in the district they represent, they are elected countywide.

Three school board seats will have primaries in August to see who the top two vote-getters will be.

School Board races are non-partisan and district wide, meaning all registered voters can cast a ballot regardless of party affiliation.

In District 1, incumbent Mary Fischer will face Victor Dotres and Marilyn Stout, while in District 4, incumbent Don Armstrong faces opposition from Arvella Clare, Richard Dunmire and Steve Teuber.

The District 5 race has no incumbent. Pam Lariviere and Carla Ronco will vie for votes in August.

Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington was out of town and not available for comment.



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